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Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra (SNES)

Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra (SNES) review


"In the conversion from the PC to the Super Nintendo, all the magic and charm that makes Might and Magic 3 great is lost."



On the personal computer, Might and Magic 3 is a game of immense and intense beauty. The graphical level is only surpassed by the gameplay, which is seemless for a role playing game on the computer. It seperates itself from the hordes of unplayable games by offering an easy as pie interface, and a combat system that you can actually pick up and play without combing through a long and boring instruction manual.

In the conversion from the PC to the Super Nintendo, all the magic and charm that makes Might and Magic 3 great is lost. The beautiful scenery is now grainy, and ho-hum. The fast gameplay now moves at a plodding pace, due to the limitations of the SNES hardware, and the clunkiness of using a controller instead of a mouse. The conversion turns an absolute masterpiece into a festering piece of crap.

In Might and Magic 3, you recruit a band of adventures at the start of the game. Your goal is to find the remains of a lost explorer, and also to unlock the mysteries abound in the Isles of Terra. That's basically it for the story; the main appeal lies mostly in exploring dungeons and building stats for your characters. The story is not a driving factor for Might and Magic 3.

The gameplay is a driving factor... On a certain other platform. However, the easy feel of Might and Magic 3 on the PC is lost in the conversion. Actions and commands through the menu based system take three to four times longer to execute due to the lack of a mouse. Simply trying to switch equipment can be an ordeal. This creates fatal flaws in the gameplay, since quick reactions and decisions are needed throughout the tougher dungeons.

As previously stated, Might and Magic 3 is run by a menu based system. You move around on a grid, where you can look and move in all four primary directions. On this grid, you encounter enemies, find items, and perform other tasks. From long distance, you have the option of shooting the enemy with bows and crossbows; as they approach, the combat switches to meelee, which enables your fighters to get in their licks.

Might and Magic 3 exemplifies the differences between console and computer role playing games, and why conversions are seldom successful. The input method for the console (the controller) is grossly inadequate to cycle through all the options in a computer game. A toned down version focusing more on a singular storyline would have been a better move instead of a straight port to the Super Nintendo.

Due to the limitations of the Super Nintendo, a lot is lost in the graphical transportation. Lush, colorful worlds are replaced by grainy, pixelated, and foggy rooms. Despite the scaling back of the graphics, slowdown is rampant, and nothing is executed quickly. Movements only occur one to three seconds after pressing a button. In an action game this would be a fatal flaw, in a role playing game it's just a constant annoyance that makes the game practically unplayable.

Even the music is screwed up. The somewhat plesant and melodic tunes from the PC version now sound muted. It's almost as if the real version of the game is in another room, and you're listening with your ear up to the wall. Thankfully, you can turn off the sounds, and play a CD instead.

Might and Magic 3 for the SNES is a flawed product at best. If you want to play this game, make sure you get the real thing for the PC, and not this version.

Rating: 3/10

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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